We must accept finite disappointment, but never loose infinite hope.

Stars in a mountain sky after a beautiful autumn day in Austria.
I’m here and not on route to Italy as planned.

This week I had to make the tough decision to withdraw from the 100km World Championships on Saturday. I say tough – well – the decision sort of made itself. Initially I thought it was just knee pain and hoped that the physio and a few days rest would allow it to settle. But now it is not isolated to the knee, I’m unable to run without pain – and I’m concerned as to what the injury is. With a Gold Medal in 2006 I’ve had my own hopes and expectations to live with during my training and preparations. Now those hopes and expectations are meaningless. I can’t run. After all the training it seems almost unbelievable to be injured at the last minute. There is nothing I can do. But it doesn’t make it any easier. The feeling that not competing I let down the team, Great Britain … and myself.

It is perhaps inevitable that the words competition and performance are in use at a Sales Meeting – and I’m here in Austria at the autumn sales meeting of The North Face. In a way, with a long summer of races behind me, these are words I have been living.

But we live in an uncertain world. And beyond competition and performance we have to dream. We have to endure and we have to explore. We have to learn to live with it when sometimes, just sometimes, that exploration takes us to an edge we didn’t want to find.

I might be facing uncertainty now, but there are stars in a clear mountain sky. And I dream.